Restoration May Play Ball with Sears

CORTE MADERA, Calif. (AP) – Furniture retailer Restoration Hardware Inc. said Tuesday it will give potential buyer Sears Holding Corp. the financial information it wants if Sears agrees to sign a confidentiality and standstill agreement.

Sears, which already owns 13.7 percent of the home-goods company, is attempting to buy Restoration Hardware. On Monday, Sears made a tentative offer of $6.75 per share, a nearly 5 percent discount to the company's closing price Monday of $7.07.

Sears has said it will make a binding offer once it gets access to Restoration Hardware's confidential financial information. But so far the furniture retailer has rebuffed Sears' requests for the documents.

Restoration Hardware said that if Sears signs the agreement, “it would be pleased” to provide the documents.

The chain said other interested buyers have agreed to sign the papers.

Restoration Hardware said it is encouraged by Sears' current offer price, which Restoration Hardware said was a big improvement over the previous proposal of $4 per share.

“At the same time, the committee stated that it believes that stockholder value will be maximized if Sears participates inside the process with other interested parties,” Restoration Hardware said.

Those interested parties include private-equity firm Catterton Partners, which offered Restoration Hardware $6.70 per share earlier this month. The two companies said the total equity value of that deal is $267 million.